Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Long ago, before computers became the generally accepted mode of communication, we used a pressed fiber sheet and graphite or ink implement with which to make markings on said sheet.
Many fibers can be used for making these sheets like cotton, linen, even elephant dung (ick) but my favorite, being cheap and readily accessible, is tree fibers. There are even forms that are pre-folded and contain art work and sometimes sentiments that may be appropriate for your occasion; like "Merry Christmas;" "Happy Birthday;" or "Thank you!"
Other accessories you may need are specially folded fiber sheets in order to send your message through the postal system* and the necessary postal tax.
*Postal system: an archaic system of boxes and sorting facilities run by government workers which collect and distribute articles and tax the users.

The implement you choose for marking with will need some practice to use well. Wrapping your fingers around close to the tip area will help. After many year of only scrolling your signature and occasional list, you may find that your hand cramps quickly; I suggest starting out slowly, and taking breaks as needed.

Though antiquated with the arrival of email and social networking, many are still moved my a single note sent by post. The art of writing a "thank you card," for example, though extinct prior to the internet communication takeover, still moves many to endearment of the sender and in turn causes the "thanked" to give thanks to the sender!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

perspective

The LORD has been showing me some areas that my perspective may need a little tweaking.

First... for quite some time I've been a little down on the messages our Pastor gives. They are smart and funny, they are biblical; but they feel so surface level that I wanted something deeper. Each message I'd think of some nugget of Truth I wished he would have brought out. Well, it hit me like a ton of bricks that maybe, just maybe, the HOLY SPIRIT sharing those nuggets with me had nuggets HE was sharing with every believer at their own place... some deeper and some closer to the surface. Maybe my little nuggets of Truth were actually just underneath the surface and I was feeling prideful about "needing more depth" than I was getting.
Time for some perspective.

Then it was about GOD being the ONE in control... as in not me! :-O ;)
I was driving myself home from a failed visit with a friend who happened to be struggling very much emotionally. At first I was upset that I had not gotten to visit, and with the way it was prevented... then I said "GOD is in control. Maybe HE doesn't need me to do HIS work! (like that's news) Maybe I need a reality check. GOD is able to make good of the effort; whether it was prevented by the enemy or was GOD's will that I not visit her at the time doesn't matter... HE will work all things together for the good of those who love HIM, who are called according to HIS purpose." With this perspective firmly in place, I was able to simply pray over the friend from afar, knowing that the SPIRIT I was speaking to was not bound by my location but was with her also.
So today when everything felt like it was going wrong (and my attitude was showing it!) I went... wait a minute! GOD knows all of this is happening. It is NOT outside of HIS control or HIS plan and purpose for me... plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future. Therefore, these things that seem to be wrong are not all they seem. HE will make good of it!

That perspective, and some Carob Cake, went a long way toward changing my bad attitude. ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Just 5 more minutes ....

12:02 AM : putting 4 year old back into bed, discover 8 and 11 year olds still awake...
Me: "Good night girls, it's after midnight."
(giggling)
11 Year old: "Good morning Mom, it's after midnight."

LOL!

and another thought....
Every time I get my "to do before baby" list shortened, I add something!
"If only I can do _____________ before she comes." "Well, and maybe _______ too."
At this rate I would be pregnant forever! Good thing I don't have a choice, and in the mean time of waiting, I wont be bored! he he he

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Trusting God

A running theme that I have been thinking on is "What is it to trust God?" and "when is it ok to tell someone to "Trust God" (Which IMHO is a cliche` way of not offering support to someone who needs a listening ear)

So tonight I think I came up with:

Trusting God is knowing Who He says He is, and believing it even when it doesn't look true in my circumstances. "Let God be true and every man a liar."

So it may feel like He is far away, or uninterested... it may seem like He isn't answering... but I can know that God is not a man that He should lie.

This is another of my "not quite refined" thoughts, but I wanted to jot it down and see what comes of it later.

Roll Call

Since sleep isn't going to happen anyway...
I'll write down some thoughts. :)
Post 1???

The new roll call
Ysabella Olysea
Moriah Janae`
Nathaniel David
Aliyah Miechelle
Brianna Joylinn
Karissa Renee`

:D
We made it to picking *before* she was born!!! Yea!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Of Dishes and Dusting

I was reminded today, while washing dishes, that instead of drudging through this seemingly endless task (and all the others in the life of housewives,) I should rejoice and give thanks for the blessings they represent. Those blessings, albeit disguised in mess, are: first, that we have food; second, we have the dishes themselves; and, most importantly, each represent a very special blessing... my family.
Maybe I should thank the Lord for each person the dish represents as I wash, and each full tummy, and the bounty He has provided. Maybe I could also pray for each precious-to-the-Lord person that doesn't have a full tummy, or a dish to eat from, or a place to call home.

Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sermons We See

by Edgar Guest

I'd rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example's always clear;

And the best of all the preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it
if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;

For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness,
I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles
and a strong man stays behind

Just to see if he can help him,
then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful
as I know that friend to be.

And all travelers can witness
that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them,
but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many,
men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed
is worth forty that are told.

Who stands with men of honor
learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language
which to every one is clear.

Though an able speaker charms me
with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon
than to hear one, any day.

(a longer version than I have seen before)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

funny to me

We bought a new set of funnels for the kitchen today. Nothing really special, just plastic funnels... the only ones that they had at the store.
When we went to take off the little sticker package thingy, Honey noticed it said
Made in USA
He said "Usa. [pronounce like Spanish for Use] That must be a town in China."

Anyway, I laughed. :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Philippians 4:11B-14
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

So many times I consider this verse and think about how I need to be more content in every circumstance. Then tonight it came to me afresh:
"I have learned"
Paul didn't know it at first, he learned it! (I know... Duh!)
He suffered need, hunger and want.
He experienced plenty and fulfillment.

Often as I look back at hard times I have had, I kick myself for not "going through it" contented and "in victory," yet these times were new to me, and the Lord was teaching me... if I had gone through them right away as though I can do all things... I may have begun to believe that I am who can do it and not through Christ alone! I am loathsomely prideful at times... it could have been worse to be victorious and like Moses and Aaron claim the victory as mine. For this Moses and Aaron could not enter the earthly Promised Land!

SO I am learning to be content whatever the circumstances.
:)

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"Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up!"

Reminding me

I believe:

God is Good all the time.

His plan is the only right plan.

Hard times will come to everyone, they are a time to seek His refuge.

In my weakness He is Strong.

My life, breath, being is in Him; likewise for my husband, kids, family and friends... I only need trust Him to have the best plan... see above.

When all else fails, revert to the top.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Friend

What she doesn't need:
Your advice on:
  • What she should do
  • What she should think
  • What she should feel

What she does need:
Your:
  • Listening ear
  • Time
  • Acknowledgment of her, and her thoughts and feelings
  • Acceptance
  • Encouragement

Very Rarely she needs:
  • A call to be godly

Thursday, June 03, 2010

What do you say?

Today someone noticing my prego belly and 5 kids in tow asked,
"So this is number 6?"
Innocent enough. I only said, "Yes."

But in my head I was thinking.
"Well actually, this one's not mine to hold yet.
And this one is number 9."

I can't actually say that to most people.
It would be shocking and perhaps depressing for them...
Yet I really hate *not* counting "the others."

It was "too early" for many to "count" them. But when is the right time to start???

Not counting them makes me feel like they didn't matter to me. But they do. They matter to God, Whose Arms they went straight to, and they will always "count" to me.

I guess some things are better left unsaid for the safety of others.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You're never too young???

Tonight Ysa, my 10 1/2 year old, told me about some plans she is making...
for her funeral! :O
She was just thinking about when she will die, and decided she wants to be laid to rest with a cross in one hand and a bible in the other with her arms across her chest in the sign "love."

Needless to say I was taken aback with her planning for *that* future! But her concept is pretty in it's own morbid way. The cross that has saved her, the Word of God and Love.

She also said she wants to die praying and worshiping, not doing something worldly and useless!

Reminds me I need not hold too tightly to what is God's. She is not mine, she's His.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

If ever you needed to know where your issues lie.....

Look to your children!

Amazing how much of our own sinful, horrid nature we can see in the little replicas of mom and dad running about the house!
I re-read my last post and thought... man! I am always working in the same areas! I sure hope there's been some progress along the way!!! And I guess that brings me back to the kids...
How many times have you had to say "Wash your hands after using the bathroom." or "Don't touch that! It could hurt you!" to your kid before they just did what was right?
Once? No? Well, twice then? hmm guess not...
I guess as God's child He can keep working on the same thing as long as it takes me to get it! and as usual He is much more understanding and patient with me than I am.

Tonight I heard one of my kids yell at another... I know that's not shocking, being kids, but it was the way it was done. Ouch! That sounded like me lately! :\ I could tell God was poking my conscience and saying, you know... We may need to work on that a bit, huh.
So that will have to be my latest project... listening closely to myself, and keeping my mouth shut.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Grace is sufficient

I was doing a little introspecting earlier... I know, that's not news...

Why is it we give others more grace than we do ourselves?
It seems there are either those who give no grace to others because they are giving all of it to themselves, to the point of not seeing their sin....
or there's those that find all the grace for others, but offer themselves little to none.
Why?

Why do I have the hardest time forgiving myself or allowing myself to make mistakes?

What that really does is say to God, "Your grace really isn't enough for me... I'm not able to show me Your grace..."
1 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you...."

Lord, Let me be Thy handmaiden, Acceptance with Joy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

ponderances

Reading our Story/History/ Nap time today we went through a couple of chapters of the Life of James Madison... America's 4th President, one of the main framers of the US Constitution and one of the minds behind the Constitutional Convention.

One of the arguments...of many... at the Constitutional Convention was over how to count slaves. The Southern States wanted to count slaves as part of the population, though they were treated as property, and given no rights. The Northern States felt that was a power grab and didn't want to count them at all. They compromised on the 3/5th rule, counting each slave as 3/5ths of a person.

Whereas to my modern mind this idea is asinine, I found myself agreeing to this compromise. It would've been an abuse to count them fully since they were given no freedom, no say in their lives let alone their country; and yet the nation needed to be united, which always takes give and take or compromise.

Now I've never been a fan of compromise. My strong convictions and personality have viewed it as it's verb form, to make a shameful or disreputable concession; and not it's noun form, more of the each side gives a little/ settlement of differences.
The last year has been a lesson in what I've been calling "Godly compromise" Where others don't agree with my convictions I've been learning to give them grace, allow God to have control, and let each of us be "fully convinced in their own mind." Living out Romans 14 (just read all of it..it's really good! (; lol) in my daily life and not trying to be the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. The way I've been looking at the Constitutional Convention compromises, probably is the fruit of the last year's training in real "noun" compromise :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

More vocabulary fun!

So tonight, after discussing the difference between allusion and illusion over dinner.....
Kiddos and I are singing camp songs and doing tongue twisters by the pc when Neno (6) says:
"Look A and B. Which comes first???? A!" He has a large wooden letter A and the matching B.
A few minutes later.... after another round of "She sells sea shells by the sea shore."......
Neno: "Look, B is younger. BA. I have BA." ;0)
I laughed pretty hard, but refused to explain! LOL

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Son ~ Imagine This

When Billy had just turned eight
He was all alone in a boat
By his house on the lake
He laid back as he closed his eyes
And he drifted off to sleep
He awoke to the sound of crashing waves
His boat was a million miles away
And just when he thought he'd seen the end
He heard his father's voice again, he said...

Son just take my hand
Rest your feet on solid land
Keep your eyes laid on me
Don't be swayed by the sea
And I will lead you home

You know that I live for You
But sometimes I get caught in the storm
And I fall
You know when I'm in that boat
And the world comes seeping in
Sometimes I start sinking in the sea
Sometimes I'm in way too deep for me
Sometimes when I'm crying out for fear
I hear You whisper in my ear, You say...

Son just take my hand
Rest your feet on solid land
Keep your eyes laid on me
Don't be swayed by the sea
And I will lead you home


Sang this to m' Daddy when he was sick. He was pretty sure this was gonna be it, but it was rough. Imagine his little girl (not yet 16 years old) with out her daddy so young. It was the only thing "holding him back," he so wanted to "go home." I cried through it, and only knew the second verse and chorus, but he liked it anyway. Told me how ready he was to be safely on the other shore, and shared with me his longing to be here with Jodi still.

She and I sang to him together, well, sorta, as it was after he had already gone home.
"Some glad morning when this life is o're, I'll fly away. To a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away."

Tenderness

Tenderness ~ All Star United

Hush baby, don't cry
Just try to remember the time
When all your pitfalls and fears
Became mine


And when we fall apart
Just one thing takes me back to the start


Chorus:
Tenderness
Put my heart to rest
Your tenderness
Hits me to the bone
Tenderness
When my head's a mess
Your tenderness
Keeps me coming home


Hush baby, don't cry
This rings in my head all the time
And still
I tend to forget your words


When I'm the swan in my full dive
Just one thing keeps me alive


Repeat chorus


BRIDGE
And so it seems to me
To all of us here
The answer is clear
That you need a little less stress
And some more tenderness.


Repeat chorus

Higher Calling

It occurs to me, that there is no higher calling than that to which God has called you.
No matter who you are, as long as you seek to honor God in what you do, it is the high calling for you. Whether the task is noble or ignoble matters not; for not every vessel is for noble purposes, but some for common, ordinary uses.

Diapers and dishes, laundry and learning may not be the "sold out," "on fire" servant I sometimes imagine I am supposed to be, but it is where He has placed me.

And that is really the only thing that matters.
To be in the center of God's will.

"Here am I, thy hand maiden, Acceptance-with-Joy" ~Let it be.~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lessons from the Seasons : Winter

As I mentioned in my first outline, winter is a time to "Be still and know"

While that sounds really restful (and a little abstract,) there is work going on in it.
During the winter months, as plants cease from the work of growing, maturing and producing fruit, they take on a different work..... the roots grow deeper.
I see in this analogy, that as we rest and wait on the Lord, we will grow more firm in our foundation. This has been true in my experience, though it can mostly be seen in hind sight.
Some of the most difficult times in my life became forced winters; and all I could do was be still. And it is during those same times that I grew so much more than during the easier days of springs and summers.
It brings to mind that it is not our working that does great things, but God's working in us.
"He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion."

Those dark and sometimes gloomy days can, in future times, be a beautiful reminder of His care and grace. My desperate moments when all I could do was cry, not even "cry out" just cry, are the times when I was upheld, and closest to my Lord.

Winters don't seem to be sweet times, like autumns. They have beauty all their own, yet they can contain some real difficulties. Maybe if I took time to "be still and know" when it wasn't out of sheer inability to do anything else, then I wouldn't see them this way. ;) But this has been my experience.

Lessons from the Seasons : Autumn

So I didn't take the time to write up Autumn's lessons during Autumn, but that maybe because it is a very busy season ;)

Autumn is In Gathering time. The time when the maturing of summer turns out the fruits for harvesting. :D

For me this period always seems shorter than the time spent producing the fruit!
Months or years can go into a harvest. Some trees wont bear fruit for 7 years. Lilacs wont flower for about that long. Yet the blossoms only last a matter of weeks, once a year, with the right conditions.
I seem to be like that. Lots of work goes into maturing, lots into pruning, and caring for young fruit; but the harvest is good, even if it is the shorter part.

Lately I have reaped the benefit from years of working on certain areas by the affirmation and encouragement of other saints.

Autumn is also time to prepare for winter, and do trimming. You can mulch or fertilize, to enrich soil and help it through the days ahead. This is probably a good time to have a retreat or just a small time for only you and God to get together with fewer distractions.

(Once again, these are just the beginning of ideas that were forming in my head last spring (; )

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Blues ~ Switchfoot

The Blues


Is this the New Year or just another night?
Is this the new fear or just another fright?
Is this the new tear or just another desperation?

Is this the finger or just another fist?
Is this the kingdom or just a hit and miss?
I miss direction most in all this desperation

Is this what they call freedom?
Is this what you call pain?
Is this what they call discontented fame?

It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in

I'm singing this one like a broken piece of glass
From broken hearts and broken noses in the back
Is this the New Year or just another desperation?

You're pushing till you're shoving
You bend until you break
Do you stand on the broken fields where our fathers lay

It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in

Is there's nothing here worth saving,
Is no one here at all?
Is there any net left that could break our fall?

It'll be a day like this one
When the sky falls down and the hungry and poor and deserted are found
Are you discontented? Have you been pushing hard?
Have you been throwing down this broken house of cards?

It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in
When the world caves in
When the world caves in

Is there nothing left now?
Nothing left to sing
Are there any left who haven't kissed the enemy?
Is this the New Year or just another desperation?

Does justice never find you? Do the wicked never lose?
Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues?

And nothing is okay
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Till the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in
Until the world caves in

What's in a day?

I've noticed some patterns in my life that strike me as odd. How is it that these things line up? Do I make associations that really aren't connected? Well, maybe sometimes, but others there's just no way I could make it happen.

This is a hard week. I knew it would be. It really does feel bitter and sweet, an almost indescribable sort of pang, but at least it isn't overwhelming.

Wednesday it will be 9 years since my daddy died of cancer. I miss him, but I'm soooo glad he isn't here suffering through this life! The odd correlations here are that it will also be the 5th anniversary of the loss of a pregnancy; and that my Uncle died yesterday with a very similar story. Aggressive cancer found too late, very short hospice, dies within 3 days of when my dad did.
It's all culminating in my Blues.

This baby was due 9-9-05; and as it would turn out we were having a D&C that day for the second miscarriage of that year. Another oddity.

Maybe I'm too nostalgic. I really shouldn't live in the past. I try not to, but every so often, I'm stuck there for awhile. Maybe it's part of the "processing" we are supposed to have to do. Or maybe I'm just a dork.

Reminiscing can be dangerous....you may remember things you were glad you forgot.

Catharsis

Had fun today with vocabulary.
Catharsis has been a favorite word of mine lately, usually used as cathartic, but it's the same ;)

Mo's reading had a few words she didn't know so we used that to continue our learning about alphabetizing and dictionary use.
Talkative was one of her words, and it was defined with another of my favorite self descriptions "loquacious;" so we talked about Mommy being loquacious and Daddy being taciturn.

Looking up taciturn then, we read all of the definitions and used them in sentences about ourselves.

I used several words including reticent, and garrulous and Mo replied with "Yeah, Daddy can be uncommunicative." ;)

I was excited, but maybe I'm easy to impress